N°380 Vehículos ligeros PH-SPORT

KRIS MEEKE

(gbr) 1.81m / 84kg

Aficiones

Cycling, MTB, snowboard… mountain life!

Sponsors

Abu Dhabi Racing, BFGoodrich, PH Sport

First participation

2017: WRC (7th); Rally Mexico (1st), Rally Catalunya (1st)
2016: WRC (9th); Rally Portugal (1st), Rally Finland (1st)
2015: WRC (5th); Rally Argentina (1st)
2010: IRC (3rd); Rally Internacional de Curitiba (1st)
2009: IRC (1st); Rally Internacional de Curitiba (1st), Rallye Acores (1st), Belgium Ypres Westhoek Rally (1st)
2006: JWRC (7th); Rallye Deutschland (1st)
2005: JWRC (3rd); Monte-Carlo (1st)

Interview

“It's a completely different ball game”

Kris Meeke is set to follow in the footsteps of illustrious names such as Ari Vatanen, Bruno Saby, Carlos Sainz and Sebastien Loeb as he makes the switch from the World Rally Championship to the Dakar in 2021. For his very first foray into rally raid, the 41-year-old will be competing in the Light-Weight Vehicles T3 class, driving a prototype PH Sport Zephyr based on the Can-Am Maverick X3. While he admits that the racer in him would have been happy to get behind the wheel of a more powerful car in the T1 category, Kris recognises that the T3s will be the ideal place for him to get to grips with the world's biggest offroad rally. As he embarks on this new adventure, the Northern Irishman is joined by highly experienced Dutch co-driver Wouter Rosegaar, who has already participated in 13 editions of the Dakar. The 37-year-old has reached the finish line 11 times -including three in the trucks- and guided Erik van Loon to 4th in 2015, the best ever Dutch result in the cars. Kris is the son of Sydney Meeke, an award-winning expert in rally car preparation and servicing, so he grew up surrounded by the sport. After watching stars like Bertie Fisher and Billy Coleman race his dad's cars as a boy, Kris started competing himself in the early 2000s, although not before obtaining a degree in mechanical engineering from Queen's University Belfast and briefly working for M-Sport as a computer aided designer. At 21, he won a competition sponsored by Peugeot UK to find the rally star of the future and made his first outing at the Bulldog Rally. With the support and mentorship of Scottish rally legend Colin McRae, Kris made swift progress, winning two British Junior titles and making his WRC debut at Rally GB 2002. After several years of working his way through the ranks on part-time programmes, he raced for Peugeot UK at the 2009 Intercontinental Rally Challenge, claiming the overall championship title alongside Paul Nagle. Two strong seasons in the IRC earned him a WRC seat with the Mini factory team in 2011, but it was at Citroën (2014-2018) that he enjoyed his greatest success. After standing in for fellow Dakar competitor Sheikh Khalid Al Qassimi at Rally Finland 2013, Kris showed sufficient potential to become a full-time WRC driver the following year. In 2015, he became the first British driver since McRae to win a WRC rally, topping the timesheets at Rally Argentina. Over the next few seasons, he and Paul went on to claim further victories in Portugal, Finland, Mexico and Spain, coming as high as 5th overall in the championship. After a final WRC season with Toyota Gazoo Racing in 2019, Kris is now ready for a fresh challenge -and they don't come more challenging than the Dakar! Acknowledging that he is very much a novice in cross-country, the Dungannon native says he will resist the temptation to put the pedal to the metal and simply try to make it to the finish line in Jeddah.

K.M.: “I'm taking my first footsteps in rally raid. I absolutely love it, it's fascinating. So here we are, my first ever cross-country event will be the Dakar! The level of anticipation is pretty high, I'm really excited. It's a new challenge and a new adventure, one I'm really looking forward to. The only thing I can bring to Dakar is car control. Coming from WRC, your brain is trained to take the maximum everywhere. Dakar is about using your eyes and adapting your speed to that, finding your way. You can't completely trust the roadbook or navigation. So it's a completely different ball game. But there's been many guys from WRC on Dakar. Carlos is a legend of world rally, and he's now done what, 16 or 17 Dakars? That's as many seasons in cross-country as he did in WRC. To be still going and still competitive is incredible. I always followed the Dakar as a kid, with guys like Ari Vatanen. I was too young to watch him in the WRC, but I remember when he moved into cross-country with Peugeot and Citroën. I've always been fascinated by offroad adventure, by endurance-type racing. I always said to myself, when my WRC career was tailing off, I wanted to look at the Dakar. It was always on my bucket list! It's a huge challenge and maybe a stepping stone for the future. I'd love to be in the top category, but I arrive very humble, understanding that it's a different ball game. I have so much to learn. I only met Wouter for the first time on 30 November! We agreed to do the Dakar over the phone. He's worked with PH Sport for a while, and honestly, the past couple of days I've been hugely impressed. Just having someone with you who's been there and done it, who's got so many miles under his belt. It's exactly the type of guidance I need. He's very, very switched on, navigation is second nature to him. And when the shovels have to come out to dig the car out… well, he's dug trucks out before, so a T3 buggy will be small fry to him! I have absolutely zero ambition to set any targets. I'm a competitor, yes, but it's a different type of competition for me. There are no targets other than returning to Jeddah in one piece!”

Vehículo

PH-SPORT

  • Marca : PH-SPORT
  • Modelo : ZEPHYR
  • Preparador : PH Sport
  • Asistencia : PH Sport
  • Clase : Prototipos ligeros

Clasificación 2021

Scratch Etapa General
0 1 1 1
1 59 58 58
2 35 35 57
3 55 55 55
4 2 2 54
5 54 57 52
6 31 31 49
7 34 34 46
8 50 50 44
9 45 45 42
10 9 9 42
11 5 5 41
12 1 1 41

Toute l'actualité de K. Meeke

Últimas noticias - 15/01 12:53 [GMT +3] - Véhicule Léger

Meeke a la cabeza, López pierde algo de tiempo

Kris Meeke figura a la cabeza en el WP1, con más de dos minutos de ventaja sobre Reinaldo Varela y Aron Domzala. Austin Jones, amenaza principal para Chaleco López en la carrera por el título, se encuentra a tres minutos del líder y cuenta con una ventaja similar sobre el chileno. ¡Por ahora todo bajo control para Chaleco!

...

Últimas noticias - 14/01 15:52 [GMT +3] - Véhicule Léger

¡Meeke pierde tiempo!

En el km 306, Kris Meeke cuenta ahora con más de cinco minutos de retraso frente a Seth Quintero. Chaleco López aprovecha la pérdida de tiempo de Sergei Kariakin para subir a la tercera posición a ocho minutos. Por su parte, Austin Jones cede cerca de 6 minutos a su rival chileno. Puesto que Meeke y Quintero han dejado de ser una amenaza,...

Últimas noticias - 10/01 11:30 [GMT +3] - Véhicule Léger

La experiencia es un grado para Meeke

Kris Meeke, piloto de WRC experimentado, lidera la clasificación de los vehículos ligeros en el primer tramo cronometrado. Víctima de un problema mecánico a 100 km de meta el jueves pasado mientras luchaba por el podio, el británico cuenta con 47'' de ventaja sobre Reinaldo Varela. Michał...

Últimas noticias - 06/01 17:06 [GMT +3] - Véhicule Léger

Domzala se impone en los últimos kilómetros

Parecía estar cantada la victoria de Mitchell Guthrie. Sin embargo, finalmente se impone Aron Domzala. Ganador de una etapa el año pasado, el polaco vuelve a subirse a lo más alto del podio de etapa con una ventaja de 1’45’’ sobre Kris Meeke, piloto bien conocido por sus resultados en el WRC. Guthrie baja al tercer puesto, a tan...

Últimas noticias - 03/01 14:24 [GMT +3] - Véhicule Léger

Otra vuelta de tuerca de Meeke

Kris Meeke imprime su propio ritmo a la categoría de prototipos ligeros. En el km 92, el británico conserva la ventaja y saca ya 5'27'' a Cristina Gutiérrez Herrero y 7'44'' a Mitchell Guthrie. 

Últimas noticias - 03/01 13:37 [GMT +3] - Véhicule Léger

Meeke conserva la ventaja

Es verdad que Kris Meeke ha abierto pista en la categoría de vehículos ligeros, pero el británico ha sabido mantenerse en cabeza. Después de 71 km, acumula más de tres minutos de ventaja sobre Cristina Gutiérrez Herrero.

Últimas noticias - 03/01 12:25 [GMT +3] - Véhicule Léger

Meeke arranca la especial

Kris Meeke, vencedor del prólogo, es el primero en tomar la salida en la categoría de vehículos ligeros. A continuación saldrán Seth Quintero y Austin Jones.

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